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Energy Researchers

David J. Bayless, Ph.D., P.E. (Mechanical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)


Bayless is the Gerald Loehr Professor of mechanical engineering and holds graduate faculty status in chemical engineering. He is director of the Ohio Coal Research Center, director of the Robe Leadership Institute, director of the State of Ohio’s Third Frontier Wright Project on Algal Engineering Research and Commercialization, and faculty fellow at the Voinovich School. Bayless’ research interests include: the recycling of carbon dioxide emissions by biological sources; the use of coal to produce gas for conversion in solid oxide fuel cells; electrostatic precipitation using novel wet membrane collectors; combustion of solid fuels and slurries; and particulate emissions from coal and waste combustion. Bayless is also a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Areas of Research: Energy, Water

Gerardine G. Botte, Ph.D. (Chemical Engineering, University of South Carolina)


Botte is an associate professor of chemical engineering and director of the Electrochemical Engineering Research Laboratory. She is also affiliated with the Institute for Corrosion and Multiphase Technology and currently serves on the advisory board for the development of a new curriculum in Fuel Cell Technology at Hocking College and Stark State College. Her research interests include: electrochemistry; fuel cells and battery technology; and the application of electrochemistry to generate hydrogen from coal and ammonia.

Areas of Research: Energy

Annie Laurie Cadmus, M.S. (College Student Personnel Administration, Illinois State University)




Cadmus currently serves as the director of sustainability at Ohio University. Most recently, she served as the sustainability specialist at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, IL where she worked closely with the Illinois Green Economy Network. Her interest in the role sustainability plays in the student leadership development process was refined during her previous work experiences at both Alliance for Climate Education in Chicago, IL and Green Mountain College in Poultney, VT.

Areas of Research: Land, Water, Energy, Data

Ariaster Chimeli, Ph.D. (Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)


Chimeli is an associate professor of economics and serves on the board of advisors for OU’s Environmental Studies program. He has also advised several Master’s students from Latin American Studies, Environmental Studies and International Development. He specializes in environmental economics and does research on environment and development economics, energy economics, climate and economics, and tropical deforestation. Chimeli teaches environmental economics, energy economics and microeconomics.

Areas of Research: Energy, Data, Environment, Development

Gary Conley, M.S. (Geography, Ohio University)


Gary Conley is a research supervisor with the Voinovich School providing project support for the environmental and GIS teams as well as the Center for Air Quality with the Institute for Sustainable Energy & the Environment and CE3. He operates the Athens Supersite which monitors air pollution transported through and deposited in Athens. The monitoring site measures atmospheric and wet-deposition mercury, meteorological data, and regionally-transported gas pollutants. Conley also supervises student research that includes the identification of pollution sources and evaluation of environmental impacts. Conley’s interdisciplinary research interests include landscape ecology, biogeochemistry, and environmental restoration in an effort to understand the issues surrounding resource utilization and ecosystem services on both local and global scales.

Areas of Research: Air, Energy, Data

Kevin Crist, Ph.D. (Chemical Engineering, University of Iowa)


Crist is a professor of chemical engineering and a faculty fellow at the Voinovich School. He is also director of the Air Quality Center at the Institute for Sustainable Energy & the Environment, which supports and coordinates research, educational programs and community outreach in order to meet the challenges of protecting environmental quality and jobs in the Ohio River Valley Region. Crist’s research interests include: urban- and regional-scale air-quality monitoring; emission inventory assessments; and photochemical, dispersion, and pesticide emission modeling.

Areas of Research: Air, Energy, Data, Shale, Pesticides

Geoffrey Dabelko, Ph.D., Director, Environmental Studies


Geoffrey D. Dabelko is a professor and director of the Environmental Studies Program at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. His current research and teaching focus on climate change, natural resources, and security as well as environmental pathways to confidence-building and peacebuilding, with a special emphasis on water resources. He joined the Voinovich School in August 2012 and was previously director of the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson Center's Environmental Change and Security Program, a nonpartisan research-policy forum on environment, population, health, development, and security issues. He continues to work with the Wilson Center as a senior advisor. Geoff is also an adjunct professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (formerly the Monterey Institute of International Studies). Geoff has held prior positions with the Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Policy, and Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. Geoff is co-editor with Ken Conca of Environmental Peacemaking and Green Planet Blues: Critical Perspectives on Global Environmental Politics (5th edition). He was a lead author for the 5th assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC Working Group II, Chapter 12), and member of the UN Environment Programme's Expert Advisory Group on Environment, Conflict, and Peacebuilding. He currently chairs the Ohio University Kennedy/Frontiers in Science Lecture Committee and serves on the editorial advisory board of the Ohio University Press.  He holds an AB in political science from Duke University and a PhD in government and politics from the University of Maryland.

Areas of Research: Energy, Land, Policy, Water

Sarah Davis, Ph.D. (Biology, West Virginia University)


Davis, an ecosystem ecologist with expertise in energy bioscience, biogeochemistry and eco-physiology, is an assistant professor of environmental studies. Her research analyzes greenhouse gas fluxes of managed landscapes, the potential for sustainable bioenergy development, and carbon sequestration. Active research projects include (i) an experiment testing Agave spp., a group of obligate CAM plants, as bioenergy feedstocks in semi-arid regions, (ii) a study of the environmental and economic viability of advanced cellulosic bioenergy on abandoned agricultural land, (iii) development of a model for long-term carbon sequestration in forests that incorporate age-related physiological changes and responses to climate change, and (iv) a global analysis of bioenergy resources. Davis teaches graduate courses in ecology and environmental issues and bioenergy systems.

Areas of Research: Energy, Land, Policy, Air, Data

Taeil Kim, Ph.D. Candidate (Computer Technology, Ohio University)


Kim works as a lead software development engineer at the Voinovich School where he develops data visualization tools which aim to significantly improve viewers’ understanding of information and database-driven web-based applications. In addition to developing these tools, Kim helps clients learn how to incorporate new technologies to better communicate with their local, regional and international audiences and train them in the maintenance and upkeep of the Web sites developed for them by the School. He uses a wide range of computer languages and tools (JavaScript, Perl, ColdFusion, VisualBasic, ASP, ASP.NET, SQL, MySQL, Oracle, and ArcGIS) in his work.

Areas of Research: Data, Energy, Shale

Greg Kremer, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering, University of Cincinnati)


Kremer is the Robe Professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, which began offering an undergraduate Energy Engineering degree in Fall 2014. He directs the ‘Designing to Make a Difference’ capstone design experience for the ME program, and has mentored design teams that have won numerous national awards and over $100,000 in prize money.  His expertise is in design and experimentation related to: automotive and advanced propulsion systems; alternative fuels; CO2 reduction from power plants emissions; and appropriate technology. In 2005-2006, he received the prestigious designation of Carnegie Scholar for his work on integrative learning.

Areas of Research: Energy, Engineering Education

Sunggyu "KB" Lee, Ph.D. (Case Western Reserve University)


Lee is the director of the Sustainable Energy and Advanced Materials Laboratory, and since September 2010, he has held the positions of Russ Ohio Research Scholar in Syngas Utilization and professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. He worked previously at the University of Akron, the University of Missouri-Columbia and the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Lee is the recipient of numerous awards, has authored, edited and published countless publications, and received research grants for more than 100 projects.  He has received 31 U.S. patents and over 80 international patents. His research specialties are in the areas of transportation and alternative fuels, advanced coal technology, remediation of contaminated soil, treatment of wastewater and drinking water, chemical process engineering and design, advanced supercritical fluid technology, and polymer synthesis and processing.

Areas of Research: Energy, Water, Land

Dina L. Lopez, Ph.D. (Geology, Louisiana State University)



Lopez is a professor and chair of the Department of Geological Sciences. Her research interests include the geochemistry and hydrogeology of geothermal systems, including diffuse soil degassing and heat flow studies. Her areas of research are in Central America, Mexico, Colombia, Brasil, and in Spain (Canary Islands and Galicia). She is also interested in environmental problems associated with mining and resource exploitation. In Ohio, she investigates the chemistry, fluid flow and mass transfer associated with acid mine drainage from coal mines, as well as in arsenic pollution.

Areas of Research: Energy, Water, Geochemistry, Hydrogeology

Scott Miller, M.S. (Environmental Studies, Ohio University)


Miller is director of energy and environmental programs at the Voinovich School and oversees Ohio University’s Consortium for Energy, Economics and the Environment (CE3); the Appalachian Watershed Research Group; and applied research projects for the Environmental Studies program. He works with many stakeholders to shape and implement programs that elevate and enhance Ohio University’s research; serves on numerous local and statewide public and private boards to improve the natural environment of the region and accelerate the deployment of energy technology; and acts as a liaison to connect state and federal agencies and local stakeholders to the university’s resources to improve the quality of life of all Ohioans. Miller was recently named a 2010 National Energy Executive with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden Colorado; he is board chair for the University Clean Energy Alliance of Ohio; he is the principle program manager for the State of Ohio’s Climate Change Action Plan in partnership with The Ohio State University; and he serves on a management team that administers Ohio University’s research and community involvement with demolition and decontamination activities at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, a cold-war era uranium enrichment facility.

Areas of Research: Energy, Land, Water, Policy, Air, Data, Shale

Jesus Pagan, M.S. (Welding Engineering, The Ohio State University)


Pagan is the assistant director and chemical hygiene officer for the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment at Ohio University. He also works as program manager for the newly created Center for Algal Engineering Research and Commercialization (CAERC). CAERC was funded by a 2010 Third Frontier Wright Projects grant in collaboration with the University of Toledo and various industry partners. Prior to his work at ISEE, he was a visiting professional in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and founder of Zeus Robotics, an arc welding and automation company at the Ohio University Innovation Center.

Areas of Research: Energy

Ben J. Stuart, Ph.D., P.E. (Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Rutgers University)



Dr. Stuart is a professor of civil engineering and also serves as executive director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment, as well as director of the Biofuels Research Lab. Dr. Stuart’s research interests include biogas production via anaerobic digestion of residential organic wastes, biofuels production from renewable feedstocks (specifically algal biomass), CO2 capture using a novel photobioreactor, and biomass gasification. Other current and recent research projects have focused on arsenic removal using recycled waste materials as novel sorbents and the characterization, abatement, and treatment of acid mine drainage sources on abandoned mine lands. He is the author of 40 refereed publications including three books and contributions to two additional books, and has presented over 70 papers on his work.

Areas of Research: Energy, Water, Biomass, Nutrient Cycling

Jason P. Trembly, Ph.D.


Trembly serves as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Areas of Research: Energy, Shale, Water

Morgan L. Vis, Ph.D. (Phycology, Memorial University of Newfoundland)


Vis is a professor of phycology in the Department of Environmental and Plant Biology. Her research interests include: freshwater algal ecology and evolution; systematics and biogeography of freshwater red algae; and the effects of acid mine drainage on stream algal communities. She collaborates with a team of researchers studying streams in southeastern Ohio to better understand efficacy of remediation strategies. She also works with the group of engineers at OU’s Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment on photobioreactor design, CO2 mitigation technology, and other devices needed to utilize algae as a next generation fuel.

Areas of Research: Water, Energy, Land

Elissa E. Welch, M.P.A. (Environmental Policy & Natural Resource Management, Indiana University)


Welch is a project manager for the Voinovich School. She serves as a coordinator for externally-funded projects and research endeavors related to energy for CE3. Additionally, Welch is a liaison between the Voinovich School and external academic, non-profit, public, and private sectors and promotes Ohio University's advanced energy expertise to enhance protection of environmental resources. Her research interests include international climate change policy, alternative energy development, carbon offsets and rural economic development and outreach.

Areas of Research: Policy, Energy

Michael Zimmer, J.D. (University of Baltimore School of Law)


In his more than 35 years of legal service, Michael Zimmer has advised domestic and international energy companies, utilities, manufacturing companies and state and local governments regarding a range of energy issues related to fuels, financing, efficiency, corporate sustainability, product analysis, renewable energy project development , microgrids, and more. Mr. Zimmer also has extensive experience working with business groups on understanding changes in energy and environmental policies and regulations, capital formation and project financing, rate design and incentives,  and advanced energy technology issues. He is regularly invited to testify before congressional committees, federal departments and agencies, and state commissions and agencies on electric energy, renewable energy, natural gas and energy tax proposals. He has served on prestigious committees, advisory boards or Boards of Directors for several energy and clean tech companies and national trade groups. His recent work has focused on energy and environmental issues in Ohio, Michigan, California, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Rhode Island for the manufacturing, buildings and commercial sectors. He holds a J.D. from University of Baltimore School of Law. For additional detail, click here.

Areas of Research: Air, Water, Energy, Policy, Advanced Energy Technologies, Microgrids, Industrial Energy